ABC’s of 2020: Dawn

When you think of dawn…. what do you see? I typically see beautiful colors, hear birds chirping, taste coffee, and feel energized. ….. that is all in my mind. I am a horrible morning person. However in recent years, I have come to depend on it. On work days, I drive to work pre-dawn/dawn- depending on the season. I am not at all a morning person… but this easily has become my favorite time of day. It is a time with God, time to reflect, think, without any distractions. It is the sight of new beginnings. I day filled with tons of potential – and I can’t imagine not starting it out in some way (prayer, song, meditation, sermon listening, reading).

BUT I promise you, as much as I want to embrace each new dawn, new potential just waiting- I can easily be like a little kid scared of the dark. Where I am so distracted, giving way more time and energy than I should, on what is lurking? On what could happen? and all the ways I would react to what could happen? I get so side tracked. I miss the opportunity to tune into the Lord and see what he wants me to see today.

Lord, Help us to see the potential of the new day. Help us to see your path in the dawns light. Amen

So friends… please share with me… what is your dawn routine to focus for the day? Share. I am begging you. How do you stay focused for the day?

No Words…. Well maybe a few

So as I traveled through the day today, it was on my heart to cancel my regularly scheduled post in the ABCs of 2020 series. I have been wrestling with the courage to write this and actually post it. I have been so distracted today knowing I needed to leap and share what is weighing on my heart.


Tragedies happen everywhere, everyday. The news of small or large tragedies hurt my heart. Causes me to dig deep to trust the Lord. Lean on him not my understanding (or lack there of). Yesterday, we here in the US had a very public tragedy.  This particular helicopter carried a very famous basketball player, Kobe Bryant. As the news traveled (quickly), social media went crazy. In the last 24 hours I have seen two camps – those that loved Kobe and those who didn’t. Some loved his 5 times as a NBA Champion, 18 times NBA All Start, 4 time NBA All Start MVP- the list could go on. Some didn’t like him due an alleged sexual assault case. Some simply didn’t like basketball.

But NONE, I mean N. O. N. E. of this matters. We have been called to be Christians. To behave more Christ like. Let’s go back to the nineties…. WWJD (What would Jesus Do)? Jesus would LOVE. YES, it is that simple. Jesus loved all the people.

A helicopter crashed. 9 (NINE) souls. Nine God created human beings. Husbands. Wives. Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Died. Families and friends are grieving.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)

God loved us (you, me, your neighbor, your heckler, your cheerleader…) ALL of us, so much he sent his son, he sacrificed his son. We simply owe him at least the effort to prioritize this….

Judgement Never.

Love First.

Kindness Always.

Grace Forever.

ABCs of 2020: Bitterness

So I have been hurt, you have been hurt, everyone has been hurt. I find my most hurtful memories (for the most part) were not done deliberately. Bitterness is grown when that hurt festers. And as I reflected on this topic, I realized my bitterness (or hurt) stems from the difference between what I thought I “received” and what I expected…. So another words- bitterness is all on me and only me. Ouch!

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
Over the last couple of years, I have really worked on dropping unspoken expectations and have worked even harder to realize expectations I was holding unconsciously.
Don’t underestimate the power of bitterness- it will impact your mind, body, and spirit. When I notice my bitterness I have to pray. I have to pray for God’s help to disclose the real who, what, and why. I have to pray for God’s forgiveness of my bitter heart.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
I have to pray for grace and healing. I have to realign my focus to joy and love- and I have to do this purposefully.
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10 (NIV)
Typically, refocusing on the joy and love, will slowly kill the roots of my bitterness.

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Challenges.

ABCs of 2020: Action

This new series is going to dig a little deeper in the Word about one word. And what a better way to start the year and alphabet but with the word action.

Leaping into 2020 – I started to think about how I wanted this to be different from 2019- the year of courage. I realized the underlying theme- was to take good ideas, good plans, good intentions placed on my heart and put into action. 

I feel God used last year to build my trust. To feel excitement about the thoughts and ideas he placed on my heart. I let fear freeze my ideas. And in the last few months God has really been pointing out my lack of action. I keep hearing “actions speak louder than words.” That was an ouch moment…. Rather moments. 

I am a master at planning- but not so good about action in areas I feel inadequate. I am really good at putting things into action when I understand the big picture. But God doesn’t always reveal the big picture and is looking for you to just take the next turn. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

The Word has so so so much to say about taking action. So let’s dig a little deeper…

Action could be to start something, taking action to stop something, or taking action to rest in something. 

Geez. So many options. 

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 13:17 (NIV)

So as I start 2020 off….  I am tackling all three in small steps.

I am taking action to start the weekly ABCs series and diving deeper into the word- one word at a time.

I am taking action to stop Turing to sugar to comfort and energize. Today will be the first day of 40 for a faith based sugar fast. (Want more info go check it out- Wendy Speake’s 40 Day Sugar Fast)

I am taking action in resting (and praying) in his desire for this blog / community and the speed I take my ideas, so that they remain manageable and in His glory. 

At the end of the day, action is all about obedience to God. Take action even if that means action in being still when he calls you to. How do you take action in His glory?

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Bitterness.

Leap: January

I have this little corner desk area in our bedroom. On the wall I always post my word of the year. I see it multiple times a day and often stare and ponder what it means in that moment. What is the next leap?

Yesterday when I removed my 2019 word – courage- I felt a bit of sadness, “empty nest-ness.” I have been doing word of the year for 4 years now (balance → faith → love → courage). I can honestly say this is the first time I had trouble of letting go of a word. Who knew? Not sure what that means. But, I do know that it doesn’t mean to abandon my word leap. This was handed to me. I shared with my husband how back around Halloween I felt it – but fought it. I was convinced that wasn’t the word. Fear was driving that. I knew what it would mean to commit to leap, to commit to fully trusting him. I also shared that when I really committed to leap – it wasn’t long after I realized this year is a leap year. I laughed, looked up, and said allowed “funny, you got jokes.”

Part of my leaping year… I have chosen to use a monthly quote to help guide, motivate, and/or narrow my focus. The above quote by Seth Godwin is a great way to start the year.  The first part… “It always feels too soon to leap”, reminds me of,

However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him.

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Hard truth – we absolutely can not enjoy, we can not participate, we can not even see what he has prepared… until we leap.

Throughout the Bible, God has required believers to leap.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 (NIV)

Even knowing this with all my heart – one of biggest flaws I am trying to conquer – is fear paralysis caused by the what if? Must recite this over and over,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Noah leaped and built and arc, Abraham leaped and prepared to sacrifice his son, Rahab leaped and sheltered enemy spies, David leaped and confronted a giant, Peter leaped (well stepped) out of a boat… the list could go on. 

Do you have a time you leaped… trusted without seeing… a moment that you went from “you” to remarkable? Share your story… it just might be the push for my leap one day.